A lot of people don’t like Hitler because he gave their ideas a bad name.
“Scientists have been able to show that the short-term immune response to an immediate parasite attack typically is costly in energy. … Chickens reared in germ-free environments enjoy about a 25 percent gain in body weight compared to those raised in conventional environments.” (Robert Trivers, The Folly of Fools, 2011). I call the attention of Skræling Hippie to this finding. If true, then the well-named Skræling Hippie was reared amidst maximum germ load to become naturally strong and only got exhausted, couldn’t build flesh and bone.
It is cool how the sun is 400 times bigger and 400 times farther away than the moon allowing the almost perfect overlap. I love coincidences. (John Parker)
If a mathematician estimated the probability for this, he’d probably conclude it’s so minute that you can rule out the fact…
Abaya On Ice: Two Qatari Women Iceskating. Doha City Center Mall, Qatar, Aug 2017.
Ah Paris (capital of la France), its grosses pétasses… Paris as romantic as a finger in the a**
Chinese-American actress Chloe Bennet voices for equal rights in Hollywood. (People’s Daily, China)
“Hollywood… wouldn’t cast her with a last name that made them ‘uncomfortable.’” Everything that sounds foreign makes an American uncomfortable.
U.S. is the major Western country with least media correspondents abroad. Adamantly isolationist in their heads and yet interventionist in fact! My source: “U.S. citizens are generally at a disadvantage in understanding foreign policy. Some is due to indifference because of its two protective oceans. Some arises from the extraordinary fact that the United States, the world’s only superpower, has fewer correspondents permanently stationed in foreign capitals than any other major Western nation. The result for U.S. media is a remarkably small pool of expertise on foreign culture and politics within their own organizations.” (Ben H. Bagdikian, The New Media Monopoly, 2004)
En su libro de 2006 ‘Historia general de al-Andalus’ niega [Emilio González Ferrín] la invasión islámica de 711 y la Reconquista. (Ibn Maher Kabak)
La imposibilidad material de la invasión tal como descrita en las crónicas árabes fue sacada por Ignacio Olagüe (La revolución islámica en Occidente, 1974) de los escritos del general Edouard Brémont, “el Lawrence francés”. Las crónicas árabes hablan de la conquista como de un milagro, y de veras, examinando a lo dicho, sí que lo fuese… En realidad, el islam unitario encontro terreno fértil en el arrianismo unitario mayoritario en España contra una minoría trinitaria opresora. En Córdoba capital del espíritu Roger Garaudy sigue a Olagüe: “En el siglo 8 lo que se introduce en Europa no son los árabes, sino el Islam.” (Sin embargo, Garaudy no sigue Olagüe a proposito de la origen preislámica de la mezquita de Córdoba.) Y, respecto a la llamada Reconquista, como lo escribe Olagüe ¿puede hablarse de reconquista cuando duró 800 años y la conquista árabe supuestamente sólo un par de años?…
Con los godos se introdujo el arrianismo, que más tarde fue perseguido por los propios reyes godos. Los “árabes” de la “invasión” fueron bereberes de la provincia goda de África del norte, la Tingitana: soldados norteafricanos mandados por godos en socorro del arrianismo español.
Experts estimate there are still thousands of unexploded WWII bombs in Germany : 60.000 people were evacuated in this Frankfurt neighborhood in Sept. 2017 to allow for the diffusion of a massive bomb. (Al Jazeera English)
The biggest problem may be, if recent research on the progress of the Third Reich’s nuclear program is right, a couple of nuclear reactors rotting underground…
Britons are convinced that the aim of their empire was to grant colored people access to reading Peter Pan by James Barrie.
You Better Believe the Cleveland Police Responded to the Browns Players Who Took a Knee: Police union not happy with kneeling Browns players. (Townhall) [The players take a knee during the national anthem as a protest against what they see as police brutality in the country.]
Conscientious objection is a human right. Police expressing disapproval over this right being exerted are being, I think, anticonstitutional. [That was before POTUS himself expressed his disapproval…]
According to anthropologists Draper & Harpending, girls raised by single moms are promiscuous. (Source: “The anthropologists Patricia Draper and Henry Harpending found a strong correlation between a woman’s mating strategy and the degree to which she experienced paternal investment during childhood. On average, women raised in a home without the presence of an investing father pursue an ‘opportunistic’ reproductive strategy, which is characterized by early sexual activity, multiple partners, and early and frequent reproduction in the context of short-term relationships.” David Buller, Adapting Minds, 2005)
You now know where to find and get ’em, boys!
Draper & Harpending conclude that the absence of an investing father gives the girl clues of a polygamous world, rather than to give fun-seeking boys clues of fewer obstacles. And for sure – what obstacle is a Christian dad?
A message of hope to Zio’s: According to latest research, there is no fatality in being subhumans. You can improve. #Palestine
It is estimated that 27 million people around the world are enslaved today, 80 percent being sex workers (Bin Jelmood House, Mshreireb Museums, Doha). That makes 21.6M sex slaves in the world, typically women forced into prostitution by maffias. – And yet men are monogamous? Taking an average of 10 clients per day (which for these slaves – perhaps contrary to voluntary prostitutes – may even be low), that makes 216M men served each day. At this rate it takes current sex slaves about 17 days to serve the entire male population of the world (3.8 billion). Less than 2 weeks if you substract little boys from potential clients.
From another source, 40 to 42 million prostitutes would be at work. According to Global Perspectives on Prostitution, 43% of prostitutes receive more than 8 clients per day, 47% between 5 and 8, 10% between 1 and 4.
The average annual income of a US prostitute would be $290,000 ($24,165 per month) => to their pimps! This is 3.6 times the mean income of a US white household ($80,000), thus 7.2 times that of a white person. #jetset
U.S. Mean Household Income (source Wkpd): Asian $90,752 / White $79,340. White is about 0.85 of Asian. Who’s the boss now?
To whites who want to end Affirmative Action: Don’t saw off the branch we’re sitting on, we’ll be craving for it soon! (IQ maniacs are the fifth column of the yellow peril.)
The world makes too much bread. A 1/3 of US bread goes to waste & surplus factory output is killing small bakeries. (Ken Rutkowski)
What if the aim is to kill small bakeries? Is there anything they can do but die?
A thought on T.E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia.” It is peculiar that the survivor of so many war events died on a quiet Dorset road–en route to discussing plans for meeting Hitler.
At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance, by Danielle L. McGuire. (United Black Books)
At the street’s dark end, raping a black woman is less conspicuous. Knowledge for Prevention.
Focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t. [An example among zillions of the kind of shallow wisdom bots flood Twitter with]
Sometimes I’m afraid to become a bot.
One day I’m going to kill a bot.
Now a bot may ban me for what I’ve just said. Remember the Japanese guy with his mosquito. [A Japanese user was banned from Twitter for tweeting death threats to a mosquito roaming his room and posting a photo of the mosquito dead. It was said he had been banned according to the standard procedure, that is, by a bot following the algorithm.]
That would be the first time banishing a user is justified from the bot’s point of view. Sort of AI self-defense. [PS. I wasn’t banned.]
Free markets are the spin by which our privileged legitimate their privileges. But they don’t exist except as spin.
Hekmet Fahmy the Egyptian belly dancer who spied for the Third Reich. link
It has taken the coalition two years to reconquer half the territories ISIS had conquered in –how long?– a couple of weeks?
Prince William escorts Prince George to his first day of school, just like his mom Princess Diana escorted him in 1987. (Today)
Prince William is not Prince George’s mom, though.
And what was doing Prince George’s mommy, may I ask?
First day of school? Snow on the ground? September…London… [A detective commenting on the picture with Princess Diana escorting her son William. Answer from another user:] Thought that was odd but when I checked his first day was in January for some reason.
And was his last day in January too for some reason? The very same day for some reason? Would the reason be that Prince William never went to school and remained at the royal palace but they needed to make a picture showing that he was going to school with other children?
Over 366,000 people have signed a petition demanding Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize be revoked over violence against Rohingya Muslims. (AJ+)
How do you know she won’t get a second Nobel Peace Prize over Rohingya issue as it is dealt with now?
I don’t think anyone would reward her for staying silent.
Only wait until Israel is the one deciding who’s to get the Nobel Peace Prize.
Wall Street => Wailing Wall Street. Source: Presidente Juan José Arévalo #Guatemala #antiimperialista
Number of legal terminated pregnancies in U.S. in 1996: 1.36M. U.S. population in 1996: 270M. That’s about 1 abortion for every 100 women (all ages). I don’t know the U.S. age pyramid exactly but as a guesstimate that would make one abortion for every 65-70 fertile women. Each year.
Number of births in U.S. in 1996: 3.9M. 3.9/1.36 = 2.8 = birth-to-abortion ratio, that is, one abortion for every 2.8 births.
China’s Economy Will Overtake the US in 2018. (Forbes) / The EU economy is larger than that of the US. Does that make the EU the global leader – in anything? Aggregate statistics simply aggregate. (Salvatore Babones, author of American Tianxia: Chinese Money, American Power and the End of History, 2017)
EU isn’t as integrated, remains a fictitious entity.
I don’t know what statistics they’re using. In PPP terms it’s already larger. In F/X terms much smaller. But that doesn’t really mean much. (Babones)
It means America will have to teach her children that the first economy in the world (as to GDP ppp) is communist, atheistic, undemocratic China. lol
Total GDP really isn’t a meaningful statistic, but if you really think that China is the world’s leading economy, more power to you! (Babones)
It seems that GDP is meaningful when U.S. is the first world GDP and it isn’t meaningful when U.S. is first no more. Besides, it’s the trends. U.S. has just been taken over. Give it a little time.
Do you know these figures from U.S. on Asian vs White income ? U.S. Mean Household Income: Asian $90,752 / White $79,340. Chinese communities overseas are an asset for China, no doubt. On the other hand, there are no Yankee communities overseas. Also, China’s IQ is 105, US’s is 98, & China’s IQ is still crippled by poverty and, although it is improving fast, backward education (both exerting developmental strains on individuals).
You understand that Salvatore’s close friend, Wang Gungwu, wrote an entire book explaining that you can’t lump the whole diaspora together? You understand that one of the biggest Chinese diaspora communities (Singapore) has slang words in the local dialect mocking Chinese people?
Yes, I do. You also find American slang words mocking Americans from this or that state.
Looting begins in Florida. Rest assured, any bookshops will be completely safe. (Paul Joseph Watson, of Prison Planet, legending a photo showing blacks looting a shoe store)
Well, this is looting but the goods are going to be damaged by water if no one removes them, and I’m sure the owners are insured for flood. Interestingly this looting is zero harm: insurances will pay for the damages made by the hurricane, looting or not. It’s called windfall. The goods are lost for everyone who doesn’t take them, and insurance will pay for flood damages, looting or not.
Windfall is routine business practice. Let me give you an example: You organize a show but it’s cancelled due to a hurricane. Customers are entitled to a refund, only a few ask: this is windfall. Many businesses will get windfall from Hurricane Irma: tickets preordered, money cashed in, shows cancelled, refund waived by many. Jackpot.
[As a user told me the “loopholes” I described were not the same as looting, I added the following] Many businesses cancel shows after a terror attack – for what reason? For people ask no refund because of commotion. I’m not talking of businesses impacted by an attack, but of venues sometimes dozens of kilometers away. Cancelling all their shows for a week or ten days! Yet the government said nothing, only to be careful… Jackpot! Multiball!
Photo of Paul Joseph Watson, @PrisonPlanet, at his Charlottesville lecture on Why I Am Proud of My Blue Eyes. [Irony]
Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi removed from Interpol wanted list. (Al Jazeera English)
How many people, then, are on Interpol’s wanted list for no good reason?
Primatologist Frans de Waal isn’t subtle: He imputes the state of Ceausescu’s orphanages, in Romania, to John B. Watson and American behaviorism. [The Age of Empathy, 2009, pp. 13-4]
“Enron’s CEO, Jeff Skilling –now in prison– was a great fan of Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene” (Frans de Waal, Ibid.) lol All geniuses are misunderstood; apparently, not all the misunderstood are geniuses.
In his books influential primatologist Frans de Waal spreads, in passing, the canard about lampshades made of Jews’ skin by German manufacturers. [He does in his above quoted book at least.]
Frans de Waal the influential primatologist: “In 2007 Time selected him as one of the world’s hundred most influential people.” #lampshades
How come today Darwinians say the strict exact opposite of Darwinians yesterday? Cf. William Chapple’s The Fertility of the Unfit, 1903. There’s a Darwinian contradiction in terms in such a book’s title, which a Darwinian couldn’t fail to see, and yet they endorsed the paradox. As if they saw something to which today’s Darwinians, back to basic primatology, are blind. On the other hand, if instead of relying on male dominance models we rely on homogamy models, the contradiction is solved.
[It turns out Frans de Waal, again, is largely responsible for that “back to basic primatology” movement I have been talking about. On this phrase, first, it is a way of speaking, of course: Primatology has made great progress since the days of eugenicism, but what is new also is the dubious application of primate alpha male dominance models to human societies, according to which high-status men are the equivalent of alpha gorillas in their gorilla harems. And here Frans de Waal is alleged to have played a major role: “Now, if the evidence for the claim that females prefer high-status males is as weak as I’ve made out, why is the claim so widely accepted? I think the reason is that we are captivated by a particular picture of the relation between sex and status among our primate relatives, and this picture affects our perception of human mating. It is widely accepted that among non-human primates high-status males have greater mating success than males lower in the status hierarchy. This belief is due partly to the popularity of the engaging work of the primatologist Frans de Waal, who has been one of the main purveyors of this idea.” (David Buller, Adapting Minds, 2005)
Right-wingers are “the unfit” eugenicists warned about. Hard-working, they say. What is it that makes work so hard for them if not their genetic deficiency?
Avocados sold in France as coming from Colombia in fact come from Israel. Good news: BDS is working. [This tweet and the few next ones are basically retweets of pictures and short videos from French user Opération Boycott, who photographed fraudulent labels in various department stores around the country. The misleading labels are aimed at concealing that the products come from Israel. I won’t post all pictures, as I don’t find the vegetables corner of a department store to be a particularly exciting place. Sorry. Feel free to pay a visit to Opération Boycott’s Twitter page.]
Avocados sold in France as coming from Chili and yet they come from Israel. Are people nauseated by Israeli avocados?
People are so nauseated by Israeli products that stores in France sell Israeli avocados as coming from Spain.
Fraudsters a gogo: Big poster origin Mexico, small label (true) origin Israel.
People are so nauseated by Israeli products that Jaffa mandarins from Israel are sold as being from France. Frenchie thinks he’s supporting local production and in fact he buys Israeli mandarins unbeknownst to him… Psha! / C’est grave. Le client qui pense acheter local pour soutenir la production locale en fait achète des produits israéliens !/
Fraudster Madness. These oranges are labelled both “Products of France” & “Israel Imports.” Consumer is king so they drive him crazy.
If you tell the consumer a product is from Israel it will make her want to vomit, so you sell Israeli avocados as coming from Spain.
Now you will see why they fraudulently resort to fake labels on products from nauseating Israel:
The word meme, coined by Richard Dawkins, is so pointless that only the far right uses it.
Picture of Dr Richard Dawkins thinkin hard about memes:
They say sport (as circus show) is a good catharsis to nationalist sentiments. I say sport feeds nationalist sentiments.
[Panda] Qiao Yi has good table manners: after milk, let nanny wipe her mouth and be a clean girl again. (iPanda)
Why give milk to pandas and, as we do, to cats when biologists tell us only humans have gene for lactose tolerance after weaning?
Picture: Lactose-intolerant hedgehog and cat sharing a cup of milk. I ain’t sayin biologists are wrong but… it’s bluffing.
“Reclaiming America’s Values” (an article by Joe Biden in New York Times)
This propaganda picture is so appealing to Americans because it subliminally depicts anal sex between two men.
The shaft is also the front man’s prick, with which he’s penetrating something or rather someone concealed to the viewer, thrusting doggy-style.
Five guys to raise a flag… and yet they only see the front man’s buttocks. American pervs.
It’s known the picture was made up and the guys were posing. Yet few realize it doesn’t take five guys fondling each other to raise a flagpole like the one shown. This is homoerotic porn in the guise of patriotic propaganda.
In our series We Learn from Fascists, today: Gini coefficient. From Corrado Gini, founder of the Fascist “Central Institute of Statistics,” 1927.
In our series Patented in the Third Reich, today : maglev (magnetic levitation). Hermann Kemper, 1934, Reichspatent Nummer 643316.
Is it proven that my genes can better replicate overall while I’m alive than when I’m back to dust?
The aim of love is not reproduction but love songs.
Científica mexicana Leticia Corral corrige a Stephen Hawking y recibe reconocimiento mundial. (Perfecto)
Sin embargo, igual que Hawking ella postula un universo finito (tiene forma de), lo que llama la pregunta absurda: ¿Qué hay más alla del universo? De lo que hablan no deberían llamarlo universo (“el todo”) sino una provincia. Tal vez una autonomía, a mí eso no me importa.
Hawking y otros se sirven de las matemáticas para hacer metafísica. Es original.
Para la lógica más allá del todo no hay nada, para la física hay “la” nada, es decir un espacio, con ciertas propiedades. Y el todo penetra la nada.
Como en realidad no puede pensarse ni un universo finito ni un universo infinito, en realidad el espacio no es una propiedad objetiva del universo.
Si no pensamos sin contradicciones (Gödel), lo que intuimos y pensamos no es la natura ya que ésta no puede contradecirse sin dejar de ser.
No one can deny Osama Bin Laden‘s steadiness. As he frowned in life, in death he frowned. Proof in pictures. #FakeNews
Allow me a doubt on second thought: Is it true that this pic of dead Osama was broadcast by official channels?
I believe so. Below is a still from CNN news report. (Mara O.)
[Of course, the fact that this blatant forgery has been circulated on the Web has raised lofty comments about “conspiracy theories” being ablaze. One of those explains that “The White House has decided not to release any pictures of bin Laden.” That was the point of my question above. The fact that a TV channel with a reputation of seriousness has broadcast a forgery as genuine is a serious problem too which, as far as I know, has remained undiscussed by debunkers of conspiracy theories. So, on the website of that particular debunker I posted the following remark: “The doctored picture was broadcast by CNN News as a genuine photo of Bin Laden’s corpse, under the head ‘US Kills Osama in Pak.’ I’ve got a still. Please be aware, then, that not only ‘people’ are suckers, but also the mass media and their journos, on which the people rely for their information.” Now, if the still I am relying on here turns out to be a forgery too, please let me know.]
There are two ways of being antinationalist: being a globalist or being a nationalist (anti all others except MY sweet sweet dear Nation).
Think of nationalist champion Viktor Orban (Hungary): He’s against an Austrian law favoring Austrian workers in Austria. You bet he is!
Malaysia’s first ever craft beer festival was axed because of a direct Islamist militant threat to the event (Newsweek)
Some want to make Muslim countries accept beer festivals but would they accept muezzin calls in Western cities?
Invasion of the Subhuman Politicos – Who Can Stop the Slime Flood?
Western democracy is all about criminalizing dissent. No more censorship bureaus but more and more laws criminalizing speech. Holocaust-denial laws (not a minor offense: a crime), on the way Israel-slandering laws (a crime), &c. Censorship bureaus have been replaced by lobbying for speech-criminalizing bills being passed by Congress. The lobbies and Congresses of the world will drive us to that society where only AI bots can talk.
Dark matter makes up most of the universe but we can only detect it from its gravitational effects, no one knows whats creating the gravity. (John Parker)
In fact dark matter is one more ad hoc theorization aimed at squaring inconvenient facts => theoretical glut
You’re free to take a knee during the Anthem. POTUS is free to criticize you. And we’re free to turn you off. And that’s what’s happening. (Joe Walsh, radio host and former congressman)
Turning people off for their opinion may be an offense under the American constitution, providing it protects freedom of opinion. Clearly, if you must lose your livelihood because of your opinions, these opinions are not protected and there’s no freedom of opinion. An employer has no say on his or her employee’s opinions: a business contract is different from feudal lordship.
[Yet my correspondent claimed the man was a certain American rabbi Shlomo Ettinger working for Mossad. When I asked for his source, he linked, without comment, to an article in fact debunking the idea that the ubiquitous Islamic rage boy is rabbi Ettinger…]
The linked article is rather convincing that “Islamic rage boy” is not NYC pusher rabbi Ettinger but the Kashmiri Shakeel Ahmad Bhat. The author, however, seems to believe that Islamic rage boy is genuine, but he’s an obvious agent provocateur of a cyberage kind, paid by Israel, India or others. This pic is from the article:
Look at ubiquous Islamic Rage Boy compared with Muslim protesters around him. He’s a scam. Islamic Rage Boy has been selected by his paymasters (Mossad or others) for his particularly ugly, alarming grimaces.
Politicos are turds, journos are turds, and yet democracy’s good? => mierdocracia (Ernesto Cardenal)
No one remembers Lionel Jospin* and yet the man, first was stoned by Arabs in Jerusalem, then was beaten by Jean-Marie Le Pen at elections. *(Prime Minister of France 1997-2002)
Franco was harsh with Catalans, eh? What about French parliamentarism with French Catalan provinces? Catalan rooted out: Frenchied their a**!
#UnlikelyRoyalBabyNames [Context: A new royal baby on the way in UK]
Adolf (Or is it a likely name?) [cf Edward VIII]
Moron the Great
Bashir Yusuf. Still unlikely.
Covfefe MAGA IrmaHurricane Israel
Podesta Knobster Risotto #AutocorrectARecipe [For a refresher see Tweetantho 1]
God save the Queen #TalkLikeAPirateDay
Watch more porn
Watch more advertising
Buy more stuff
Plastic surgery (DM me for the best address)
Do as I say
Join the cult
Be a hard-working American lol
Eugenics and Euthanasia
September 30, 2017
Si je peux compter jusqu’à l’infini, quelle est la place d’un Dieu fini ?
Dans la guerre des sexes, j’ai parfois le sentiment d’être seul contre tous.
Le temps qui ferme nos blessures nous rapproche de la mort. Le temps qui nous rapproche de la mort ferme nos blessures.
La certitude de la mort console les malheureux et assombrit les gens heureux, si bien que les premiers ne sont jamais tout à fait malheureux ni les premiers tout à fait heureux.
Diderot, dans ses Pensées philosophiques, est intervenu dans la controverse sur le destin des enfants mort-nés en recommandant ironiquement aux parents de tuer leurs enfants pour leur éviter la damnation. Cet argument porté contre la religion chrétienne peut aussi être un argument en faveur de Grégoire de Rimini, général des augustins, surnommé tortor infantum (le bourreau des enfants) pour sa doctrine selon laquelle les enfants morts non baptisés sont damnés à cause du péché originel (d’après Leibniz, dans les Essais de théodicée).
Diderot disait regretter d’avoir écrit « ce livre abominable », Les Bijoux indiscrets. C’est pourtant le livre qui lui valut la protection de Mme de Pompadour.
« Ce que nous connaissons de l’univers n’est presque rien », dit Leibniz, qui croit à l’existence de planètes habitées, dont certaines par des êtres plus parfaits que nous. Pourquoi la Parole divine n’en dit-elle rien ? (Au moins dans son sens littéral : ces autres planètes sont-elles évoquées par les Écritures de manière ésotérique ?)
Conciliation du déterminisme absolu et de la morale pratique chez Leibniz – et de même chez Schopenhauer. Les actes contraires à la loi et aux mœurs sont peut-être excusables dans la mesure où la personne n’étant pas libre elle n’est pas responsable, mais ils doivent être « punis », de la même manière qu’on enferme les fous jugés irresponsables et dangereux. La justice est un instrument de sélection : elle épure le corps social des individus qui ne peuvent se conformer à ses normes, et ce dans l’intérêt supérieur de sa propre harmonie et de l’intérêt collectif. L’individu a intérêt à se conformer aux attentes sociales et si le déterminisme par lequel il est régi ne lui permet pas d’entendre son intérêt ou de le suivre car d’autres instincts plus forts le poussent en sens contraire, il doit être retranché du corps social. Ses actes ne sont pas à considérer au point de vue de la responsabilité mais à celui du déterminisme dont ils témoignent, et les violations de la loi sont autant d’indices d’une nature antisociale. La justice, comme pour Hobbes, n’a qu’une valeur dissuasive, « médicinale » dans la terminologie de Leibniz. (Essais de théodicée) – Cette théorie pénale est « fixiste » ou conservatrice.
Selon le traité Malleus Maleficarum, les Inquisiteurs sont protégés de la sorcellerie et l’arrestation d’un sorcier sur ordre de l’Inquisition a pour effet de dissiper tous ses sortilèges. De même, le sorcier prisonnier de l’Inquisition ne peut s’évader par magie.
Dans Les Châtiments de Victor Hugo, les oiseaux ne peuvent plus voler dans le ciel au-dessus de la France à cause de Napoléon III : « Les Oiseaux : Il a retiré l’air des cieux et nous fuyons. »
Tous ceux qui passent en France, à partir du dix-neuvième siècle, pour des écrivains catholiques de premier plan (ou presque) étaient des convertis : Huysmans, Léon Bloy, Paul Claudel, Jacques Maritain, Francis Jammes, Charles Péguy, Henri Ghéon, Pierre Jean Jouve, Gabriel Marcel, Julien Green (issu du protestantisme), Ernest Psichari… La seule exception que je connaisse est Bernanos.
J’exigerais des femmes ambitieuses qu’elles sussent plus que les autres. (Dans la langue de La Bruyère, l’imparfait du subjonctif est le temps correct pour l’accord avec le présent du conditionnel : « J’exigerais de ceux qui vont contre le train commun et les grandes règles qu’ils sussent plus que les autres, et qu’ils eussent des raisons claires et de ces arguments qui emportent conviction. »)
Le propre de la femme de qualité, c’est qu’elle ne faisait rien, ni dehors ni chez elle. Les auteurs de ces époques nous disent que la politesse s’acquérait à leur commerce. Nos manières se sont épaissies.
L’agent secret, de Rudyard Kipling à James Bond. Dans Kim de Kipling, la fascination bien anglaise pour l’espionnage (Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ian Fleming…), le déguisement (c’est également le cas de Sherlock Holmes), les mots de passe secrets, les signes cabalistiques, c’est du maçonnisme appliqué, et ce n’est pas très noble.
Dans Kim, Kipling, « le chantre de l’Anglo-Saxon » d’après Jack London, n’hésitait pas à flatter l’indigène, à cause de la menace des autres Blancs sur les colonies anglaises. Il fallait convaincre les races soumises que la domination anglaise était préférable à celle des autres nations européennes. Cela donne une œuvre assez hypocrite et puérile, à tendance humanitariste, et manichéenne à l’encontre non des races de couleur mais de tous les Blancs non anglais.
Le mari trompé, dans Thérèse Raquin, est un « égoïste satisfait ». Je ne connais pas de roman d’adultère bourgeois qui ne charge le portrait du cocu. Pourtant, la reine Guenièvre trompait déjà un homme aussi excellent que le roi Arthur.
Si, comme Barrès l’a prétendu, il y a de la « basse pornographie » dans Zola, les Hussards disciples de Barrès ont largement dépassé celui-là dans le genre, rendant rétrospectivement vaines et creuses les critiques de leur maître contre Zola.
Dans Rome, Zola écrit que l’entrée des républicains dans les États pontificaux y a mis fin au règne des femmes car les prélats, « vieux garçons », étaient sous la coupe de leurs vieilles servantes. Les républicains n’étaient-ils pas sous la coupe de leurs femmes ? La femme mariée aurait moins d’influence sur son mari qu’une servante sur un célibataire ?
La Débâcle est un démenti de La Terre. D’un côté, les parasites sanguinaires ; de l’autre, le travail sain de la terre, la vie saine du travail aux champs (dans la personne de Jean) – La Débâcle que Zola, dans le très conservateur journal Le Gaulois (du juif Meyer), appelle « une œuvre de patriote… maintenant la nécessité de la revanche ».
Nombreux sont ceux qui disent chercher la vérité, auxquels il semble qu’elle parle comme Dieu à saint Augustin : « Tu ne me chercherais pas si tu ne m’avais déjà trouvée. »
Ne me dites pas que je n’ai pas de diplôme ou je répondrai que vous valez ceux qui vous ont donné les vôtres.
Aux jeux olympiques de l’Antiquité, la discipline des athlètes comportait l’abstinence sexuelle. Demandant ce qu’ils en pensaient à des amis médecins, je ne pus obtenir d’eux la moindre réponse. C’est comme si la médecine n’avait aujourd’hui rien à dire au sujet de la sexualité : seuls les « sexologues », branche de la psychologie, et les psychanalystes, qui ne connaissent les uns et les autres rien à la physiologie, parlent de sexe.
Herméneutique open data. La connaissance est le traitement quantitatif de l’ensemble des œuvres de la pensée. Toute pensée est un intrant culturel au sens ethnologique ; c’est le traitement statistique qui s’exerce sur elle qui fait sens. (Ne le dites pas aux intellectuels.)
Dans La Force des choses (Folio, vol. I, p. 36), Simone de Beauvoir ne veut pas que son nom soit accolé à celui d’anciens « collabos », elle ne veut « plus entendre leur voix ». P. 35, elle parle de Jouhandeau après-guerre comme si de rien n’était.
Simone de Beauvoir écrit au sujet du procès de Brasillach (ibid., p. 37) : « Quand la sentence tomba, il ne broncha pas. » Quid de la fameuse phrase : « C’est un honneur ! »
J’ai appelé Sartre un « casseur de pédés » (voir JPS : là). Dans La Force des choses (Folio, vol. II), Simone de Beauvoir nous parle de « misogynie pédérastique » (p. 192), de « sadisme pédérastique » à l’encontre des femmes (p. 204), et voir aussi la p. 196. Elle n’oublie pas non plus de souligner sa « conscience chrétienne, démocratique, humaniste » (p. 125). À part ça, le Flore a toujours la cote.
Pour Simone de Beauvoir, en 1949, il ne pouvait être question, avec Nelson Algren, d’aller dans l’Espagne de Franco. En 1959, elle voyage avec Nelson Algren dans l’Espagne de Franco (ibid., pp. 293-4).
Pp. 405-6 (ibid.), Simone de Beauvoir est « stupéfiée » par la « futilité » des « politiciens de carrière », qu’elle découvre à cinquante ans passés (qui plus est en Belgique) ; c’est là que j’ai compris qu’il était plus facile d’avoir une belle « conscience démocratique » dans un monde sans politiciens.
Il est assez ironique que Simone de Beauvoir tire son pessimisme à l’endroit des États-Unis, à cause de leur extéro-conditionnement croissant, d’un livre, La Foule solitaire (The Lonely Crowd), qui est une satire de l’intéro-conditionnement, caractéristique du « barnacled moralizer » et dont les derniers représentants en Amérique sont les fermiers. Dans sa préface à l’édition de 1960, David Riesman exprime d’ailleurs sa surprise que le public ait dans l’ensemble réagi comme Simone de Beauvoir (qu’il ne nomme pas : La Force des choses est postérieur, et Simone de Beauvoir ne semble pas avoir lu la mise au point de 1960), en idéalisant l’intéro-conditionnement.
Dans La Société de consommation, Jean Baudrillard pompe allègrement La Foule solitaire beaucoup citer l’ouvrage, et quand il le cite c’est surtout pour rapporter une expression (« objectless craving ») ou se porter en faux contre lui (contre le « standard package »). Or le parallèle entre le passage de la population rurale au productivisme urbain et le passage au consumérisme, le « must have fun », la « consommation-socialisation », tout cela est décrit dans le principe même de l’extéro-conditionnement (other-orientedness). Par ailleurs, Baudrillard écrit que Riesman « parle, à propos de la jeunesse américaine, d’un style Kwakiutl et d’un style Pueblo », alors que Riesman écrit en réalité que le caractère extéro-conditionné des jeunes Américains de la classe moyenne (en voie de massification) est Pueblo et que la société américaine dans son ensemble devient Pueblo alors que les jeunes la voient encore Kwakiutl. Baudrillard va jusqu’à citer le même passage de John Stuart Mill qui est dans La Foule solitaire. Mais à partir d’un constat qui est, au fond, celui de Riesman, Baudrillard déplore une perte de « personnalisation » des relations sociales, alors que Riesman en appelle à une re-dépersonnalisation de ces relations en raison de la charge émotionnelle trop lourde que cette personnalisation représente, par exemple dans le contexte fonctionnel du travail au bureau. – Guy Debord a également pompé La Foule solitaire (La Société du spectacle : « De l’automobile à la télévision, tous les biens sélectionnés par le système spectaculaire sont aussi ses armes pour le renforcement constant des conditions d’isolement des ‘foules solitaires’ »), avec la même erreur d’interprétation.
Selon Freud, la dépense psychique occasionnée par la maladie et par la lutte contre ses symptômes et compulsions conduit à une paralysie face aux tâches importantes de la vie. Or on trouve dans La Foule solitaire de Riesman et al. que le conformisme exerce, dans une société extéro-conditionnée, un effet de stimulation et d’accumulation psychiques, tandis que le non-conformisme a au contraire le même effet que la maladie mentale telle que décrite par Freud. La minorité idéologique subit un appauvrissement psychique qui la caractérise réellement comme malade.
« Liberté en situation » de l’existentialisme. La liberté se détermine en fonction de la situation. Si la situation change, la liberté se détermine autrement. Or Sartre écrit que l’on peut créer une situation, la société sans classes, qui verrait disparaître l’antisémitisme (Réflexions sur la question juive). Si je peux prédire, à partir de l’avènement d’une société sans classes, la fin de l’antisémitisme, c’est-à-dire si X alors Y, je nie la liberté. En effet, si je sais comment la liberté se déterminera face à telle situation, c’est que je sais comment elle doit se déterminer ; je le sais d’après une loi déterministe.
J’ai échoué à entrer en classe prépa littéraire car il n’y avait pas encore le baccalauréat littéraire qu’on a créé par la suite (et j’ai eu 5 sur 20 à l’épreuve de maths) et j’ai raté les concours administratifs à cause de l’épreuve de culture générale qu’il est aujourd’hui question de supprimer. C’est ce qui s’appelle être en avance sur son temps.
Dans l’administration française, on passe des épreuves de « culture générale » pour pouvoir ensuite rédiger des appels d’offre de marchés publics et des bordereaux de sécurité sociale. Et ce n’est pas une insulte à la culture ? – Épreuve de culture générale : être quitte avec la culture.
En fait de philosophes, des spécialistes en humanités (avec un « s »).
Il pourrait aussi y avoir une façon de voir les choses que je soumets à l’appréciation de votre radicalité : si c’est dans les journaux, c’est que ça ne vaut rien. Seulement votre radicalité a besoin des journaux pour exister.
Le « sois toi-même » de toute la pensée « émancipatrice » et publicitaire est une « injonction paradoxale » au sens de double bind schizogène.
Avoir des amis est-il compatible avec la liberté de penser ?
« N’écrivez pas des poèmes d’amour, écrivez sur votre quotidien. » (Rilke, Lettres à un jeune poète) J’ai écrit des poèmes d’amour car c’était mon quotidien !
Pour admirer sincèrement un homme politique, il faut n’admirer aucun poète, aucun écrivain, aucun philosophe.
Le raisonnement selon lequel la monogamie permet à davantage d’hommes de s’unir à une femme ignore complètement l’existence de la prostitution, c’est-à-dire de toute une classe de femmes exploitées et non mariées (peu d’hommes acceptent de se marier avec des prostituées), largement inconnue dans les pays de droit polygamique. À l’époque où Schopenhauer écrivait ses Parerga und Paralipomena, on comptait 80 000 prostituées à Londres, autant de « victimes sacrifiées sur l’autel de la monogamie » (Menschenopfer auf dem Altare der Monogamie).
« L’onction du suffrage universelle » est mystique et fétichiste. De même que la médiocrité de l’homme est couverte par la dignité de prêtre, l’homme qu’est l’élu républicain devient tabou en même temps que prophétique, du moins parmi les fonctionnaires, chez qui l’adhésion à cette mystique est requise.
Toute bibliographie sur Kant a ses nationaux-socialistes : Alfred Bäumler, Gottfried Martin, Martin Heidegger (le moins connu d’entre eux)…
La philosophie n’est pas devenue difficile à partir de Kant : voir la citation ironique par Hobbes du scolastique Suarez, dans son Léviathan. C’est seulement que ce qu’on appelait philosophie, dans les universités, avant lui, tout le fatras scolastique indéchiffrable, et « impuissant » (Balzac), de Suarez et autres, a sombré, tandis que le fatras que l’on appelle encore philosophie après Kant, chez Fichte, Hegel, Husserl…, n’a pas encore eu le temps de sombrer.
L’univers du Big Bang s’étend dans le vide ; l’univers en expansion de Kant s’étend dans un chaos de particules qui en viennent à se soumettre aux forces de l’univers (Dissertation de 1770).
Du commentateur et traducteur de Kant, Alexis Philonenko : Kant « ne part pas toujours de définitions exactement déterminées, et il use de concepts sans toujours observer une grande rigueur. » En guise de reproche, alors que Kant explique qu’il n’est pas approprié de partir de définitions en philosophie, contrairement à la pratique des mathématiques ! Il n’y a pas, en dehors des mathématiques, science intuitive pure, de définition possible des concepts (empiriques comme a priori), seulement une exposition ou explicitation. (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Reclam 2013, pp. 745-6)
Les fréquences infrarouges et ultraviolettes ont pu être mesurées et sont donc indirectement perçues et attestées comme réelles dans notre expérience. En revanche, les dimensions « surnuméraires » de l’espace sont une construction, non une construction dans l’intuition pure comme les objets de la géométrie mais une construction dans l’entendement pur, au risque qu’elles ne soient qu’un jeu de l’esprit. Le champ de notre sensibilité peut être élargi par la technologie : nous percevons des objets de plus en plus petits, de plus en plus lointains, un spectre de fréquences de plus en plus large mais, ce principe de la technologie étant posé, demeure l’impossibilité d’une appréhension, hors de l’entendement pur, de dimensions surnuméraires de l’espace, du fait que l’espace n’est pas une matière mais la forme même de notre expérience sensible.
Un « espace vectoriel à n dimensions » ne décrit pas l’espace objectal (forme de l’intuition sensible) mais une représentation des dimensions d’un problème.
Pour décrire l’espace, on peut toujours poser n à la place de 3 (dimensions) et voir ce qui en résulte logiquement (en recourant aux opérateurs logiques), mais de ce que les opérations logiques ou formelles soient possibles pour toute valeur arbitrairement choisie il ne résulte pas qu’il soit permis pour toute valeur de tirer des conclusions sur l’étant.
Les mathématiciens retombent en enfance, sauf qu’au lieu de jouer avec des cubes, ils jouent avec des hypercubes.
Le concept d’un triangle est sa pure et simple définition, et les énoncés qui exposent celle-ci sont analytiques ; synthétiques a priori sont les énoncés qui exposent les propriétés du triangle. Les concepts de l’entendement ne sont pas une connaissance synthétique a priori ; il faut, pour une connaissance synthétique a priori, le recours à l’intuition (Anschauung) et à ses formes, l’espace et le temps. C’est parce que l’espace est une forme a priori de notre intuition que la géométrie possède des axiomes apodictiques. – Ce ne serait pas possible si l’espace était une condition objective de l’existence des choses en soi. (Quod est demonstrandum)
La dimension duale « quantitative-visuospatiale » des tests d’intelligence est conforme à la conception kantienne des mathématiques comme science intuitive pure.
Qu’au moins une autre planète soit habitée est plus qu’une opinion (Meinen) : une forte conviction (starkes Glauben). (Kritik der reinen Vernunft)
L’état de nature de Rousseau est la réplique qu’appelait le chapitre XIII du Léviathan. Je veux dire par là que c’en est tantôt la copie et tantôt le contrepied. Son état de nature, Rousseau l’a trouvé dans Hobbes, mais il en a retiré les passions pour les faire naître avec la propriété, c’est-à-dire avec la fin de l’état de nature.
De même, Spinoza est un imitateur de Hobbes. Diderot écrit : « Son dieu [à Hobbes] diffère peu de celui de Spinoza. » (Article Hobbisme de L’Encyclopédie) Il faudrait plutôt dire, par respect de la chronologie, que le dieu de Spinoza diffère peu de celui de Hobbes.
Tous les droits de l’homme sont contenus dans l’habeas corpus.
Rousseau ne veut pas que son Émile devienne forgeron ; il le veut menuisier. Il y a des métiers impurs, réservés aux intouchables.
L’homme à l’état de nature, solitaire, rousseauiste, ne peut même pas cueillir le moindre fruit car les bandes de singes lui interdisent d’approcher des arbres, qui sont leur propriété. Il se fait chasser dans les déserts, où il meurt de soif et de faim. («cuando los cristianos van por la tierra adentro a entrar o hacer guerra a alguna provincia, y pasan por algún bosque donde haya de unos gatos [‘gatos monillos’=monos aulladores] grandes y negros que hay en Tierra Firme, no hacen sino romper troncos y ramas de los árboles y arrojar sobre los cristianos, por los descalabrar; y les conviene cubrirse bien con las rodelas y ir muy sobre aviso para que no reciban daño y les hieran algunos compañeros.» Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Sumario de la historia natural de las Indias, 1526)
Selon Galbraith (Le Nouvel État industriel), un principe de la technostructure est la « décision par le groupe ». Corollairement, le diplôme, gage de connaissances spécialisées et surtout de normalisation, supplante l’expérience. Il se pourrait que les deux soient liés, que le mode de décision par le groupe au sein des organisations implique pour bien fonctionner un formatage des individus qui y participent, formatage dont la meilleure garantie serait le diplôme, bien plus que l’ancienneté, laquelle ne compenserait qu’imparfaitement une normalisation initiale insuffisante.
Tous les grands penseurs ont souligné la nécessité du loisir pour penser. Or la « société de loisir » est celle du loisir pour le loisir, c’est-à-dire de la compensation pour un travail absorbant toute l’énergie humaine, du loisir comme temps de vie qui ne peut, pas plus que le travail, être consacré à la pensée.
Quand j’avais douze ou treize ans, le mot « blasé » revenait souvent dans les conversations de mon groupe d’âge, où il ne pouvait tout simplement pas s’appliquer. Petits singes.
Dans les mauvais romans didactiques, c’est toujours une femme qui joue le rôle de Candide, comme si la femme était un éternel sauvage au milieu de la civilisation.
Grincements de dents. Le martyr de l’homme d’esprit en société : il attire l’attention des dames et suscite ainsi la haine de leurs cavaliers. Le martyr du penseur est pire encore : il suscite la haine des dames, donc aussi de leurs cavaliers.
Les sophistes, comme les psychanalystes, se faisaient payer.
Les femmes travaillent pour que les hommes puissent les quitter sans remords.
Ceux qui entrent dans les grandes écoles, écoles d’élite, et pour qui dès lors « toutes les portes sont ouvertes », savent qu’ils ont une vie de robot devant eux à moins qu’ils ne se lancent à leur tour en politique, auquel cas ce sera une vie de robot tempérée de bassesse. C’est pourquoi, tant qu’ils ne font pas de politique, personne ne les envie, aussi enviables que soient leurs conditions matérielles d’existence, car il n’y a pas de raison d’envier des machines. Ceux que l’on envie, ce sont les individus vulgaires qu’animent de basses passions.
Les grandes écoles emprisonnent dans un esprit de corps.
Liste des philosophes et penseurs grecs initiés en Égypte, d’après Cheikh Anta Diop : Thalès, Pythagore (passa vingt ans en Égypte, selon Jamblique), Démocrite, Platon (passa treize années en Égypte, d’après Strabon), Eudoxe de Cnide, Orphée de Musaeus, Dédale, Homère, Lycurgue de Sparte, Solon d’Athènes. (Antériorité des civilisations nègres)
Selon Cheikh Anta Diop, il existe en Afrique une polygamie non patriarcale.
Les séries causales indépendantes rendent a priori impossible une prédiction exacte des événements à venir, mais s’il y a eu une cause première il n’existe pas de séries causales indépendantes.
Mes études en province (trois ans) m’ont permis de comprendre que la France tout entière est une « province ». Il n’y a plus que les médias français pour ne pas le voir. – L’intérêt de l’étranger pour la France est purement ethnographique.
Le hadith sur le petit djihad et le grand djihad, que des commentateurs occidentaux bien intentionnés citent volontiers pour émousser la rhétorique islamophobe, n’est, selon les critères islamiques, pas recevable (« baseless »). (Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabi’ al-Madkhali, professeur à l’Université islamique de Médine, The Reality of Sufism: ‘’Likewise they have removed the spirit of jihad, which is to fight in the way of Allah, with what they claim to be the greater jihad, i.e. striving against one’s own soul. Whereas this is a baseless hadith and has provided the opportunity in the previous two centuries for colonialist powers to occupy most of the Muslim lands.’’ [p.14])
Le postulat de la phrénologie (Gall, Spurzheim) est confirmé si l’on peut répondre par l’affirmative aux deux questions suivantes. 1/ Une bosse crânienne est-elle due à la pression du cortex cérébral sur le crâne ? (Intuitivement, je pense que oui.) 2/ La localisation fonctionnelle étant admise (LeDoux, 1998), existe-t-il une corrélation positive entre le volume de telle partie du cerveau et sa capacité fonctionnelle ? (Intuitivement, je pense que oui.)
Dans Walden Two de Skinner, l’intellectuel Frazier crée une communauté utopique en expliquant que les intellectuels sont sensibles au ressentiment des classes laborieuses. Ce ne sont pas les envieux qui créent des utopies, mais les enviés, qui souffrent de l’envie des envieux. – Peut-être l’envieux pense-t-il quant à lui qu’il serait envieux sous n’importe quel régime.
Marshall McLuhan : Le clownesque est la destinée de la personnalité totale dans le monde des mutilations linéaires.
Kant et Hegel partagent un même fétichisme de la Révolution française alors que l’événement fondateur est la Révolution américaine. La Constitution fédérale américaine est rédigée en 1787 et, soumise à la ratification des États, devient effective après la ratification du neuvième État sur treize, en juin 1788. Le Bill of Rights (les dix premiers amendements de la Constitution) est ratifié par le premier État en novembre 1789 ; la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen, en France, datant d’août 1789, elle est donc antérieure. Cependant, il existait des Bills of Rights dans les Constitutions de plusieurs États avant la Constitution fédérale : Pennsylvanie, Caroline du Nord, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland. En outre, l’auteur collectif des Federalist Papers (1787-88) énumère les dispositions de la Constitution fédérale qui rendent en réalité superflu un Bill of Rights (The Federalist, 84). Par conséquent, les événements déterminants de l’une et l’autre Révolutions sont, d’une part, l’adoption de la Constitution fédérale en Amérique et, d’autre part, la proclamation de la Déclaration des droits de l’homme en France, celle-là précédant celle-ci.
Le film Le Prêteur sur gages (The Pawnbroker) de Sidney Lumet (1964) a été, avec sa paire de seins nus, la première entorse au Code Hays définissant des lignes de conduite pour le respect de la décence et de la moralité par l’industrie cinématographique. L’entorse fut justifiée par un impératif pédagogique à montrer les atrocités des camps de concentration nazis (en l’occurrence, des femmes juives violées ou prostituées par les gardiens des camps). Elle devait rester une exception mais les entorses se sont ensuite multipliées, jusqu’à la suppression du Code en 1968. Plus tard, La Liste de Schindler de Steven Spielberg (1993) s’est également servi de la Shoah, pour vendre alcool et cigarettes dans un contexte où la publicité pour ces produits est de plus en plus contrôlée et restreinte : le héros du film est dans quasiment toutes les scènes en train de fumer et/ou de boire de l’alcool.
Surveiller et Punir, de Michel Foucault : une analyse minutieuse d’archives, puis, sans transition, les assertions les plus échevelées sur les délinquants produits par le système pour servir de vivier d’hommes de main occultes aux politiciens, sur le fondement d’aucune preuve documentaire.
Les riches puent. Les pauvres crânent.
Une personne sur cinq reste sans enfant (un ratio qui serait demeuré plus ou moins stable au cours des siècles, si le nombre d’enfants par femme a quant à lui varié). Pour que la population ne diminue pas, 80 personnes, soit 40 couples doivent faire 100 enfants, donc chaque couple doit faire 2,5 enfants.
Il est plus difficile de robotiser un salon de coiffure que le ministère de l’économie.
Puisqu’il est poli, chez les Arabes, de roter à la fin du repas, je ne vois pas pourquoi on ne rote pas dans les restaurants des hôtels à Dubaï. Moi j’ai roté. Une serveuse philippine (ou une cliente occidentale) a poussé une exclamation, mais la cliente bédouine m’a souri.
Mon général n’est « pas maurrassien mais »… il n’a rien lu en dehors de Maurras.
L’univers nous semble si grand parce que notre vie est si courte. Pour une espèce où les individus vivraient des milliards d’années, les distances interstellaires seraient peu de chose.
BNB-Baribas la banque d’un monde qui pue.
Dr Robin Baker’s Science of Sex II
In his reply to my essay on what I called his Sex Wars trilogy (Dr Robin Baker’s Science of Sex: A Discussion, XXVIII, here), Robin Baker pointed out three blunders I made, and for the rest invited me to read the book he authored with Mark Bellis, Human Sperm Competition. Copulation, Masturbation and Infidelity (1995), which presents the results of their research in a more systematic and detailed fashion. I then ordered the book and read it. The present essay is intended as a sequel to XXVIII; it acknowledges that my non-specialist objections on particular points of Baker’s theory have found satisfactory answers in Human Sperm Competition, and further expatiates on a few inferences I draw from the theory.
As a sequel, the present essay perhaps should not be read before taking cognizance of the content of the original essay (here). A brief introduction on human sperm competition can also be found here (XXVII).
The abbreviations for the book titles have been maintained from the former essay. Further on Human Sperm Competition will be found abbreviated as HSC. I am using the first hardback edition by Chapman & Hall, 1995.
Before I tell how my objections and doubts have been satisfied, one word on the blunders Baker pointed out in his reply (a reply I have posted as a comment to XXVIII). They are three: one on method, two on content.
On the method, I had made some quotes from the collective work Sperm Competition in Humans (SCH) without naming the authors of the passages quoted. I have since then corrected the slip in the text itself, acknowledging the fact in a further comment.
Another blunder I made, this time regarding the content of Baker’s books, was that I construed the expression ‘clear eyes’ as meaning ‘fair eyes’. Hence my questions on this point lacked an actual ground, because they were based on a semantic misunderstanding. Baker made it clear in his reply.
The second blunder on content concerns some figures on the extent of human sperm competition. Baker answered with an extensive quote from HSC showing that my remarks, here again, were groundless. I shall deal with this point more at length, explaining the nature of my blunder, under the head “Conception Via Sperm Warfare: The Figures.”
I shall now proceed with exposing how my objections have been answered, under the same heads, or subtitles, used in XXVIII.
Under this head I did not exactly make an objection; it was rather a request for more information. I requested, namely, a confirmation that via copulatory orgasm, as an operation by which the outcome of sperm competition can be slanted, women really manage to discriminate between sperm from different men, and how. I think I now understand the mechanism better.
As I understand things, female copulatory orgasms discriminate between different sperm as long as these are not mixed in one and the same seminal pool. It means that copulatory orgasms are of no avail when two successive copulations by two different men occur before a flowback (expulsion of sperm from the female’s genital tract) has resulted from the first insemination. Quoth: “The overall pattern is more or less as predicted by the ‘upsuck’ hypothesis, female orgasm in some way assisting uptake of sperm from the seminal pool before the remainder of the sperm are ejected in the flowback.” (HSC, 236, box 10.5). & “Orgasm facilitates the passage of sperm from the seminal pool to the cervical mucus. It could do this in one or all of several ways: (1) dipping the cervix further into the seminal pool; (2) promoting greater mixing of cervical mucus and seminal fluid; (3) lengthening and/or increasing the number of seminal projections into the cervical mucus; and/or (4) lengthening the time that the cervix is dipped in the seminal pool.” (HSC, p. 237). Thus, the mechanism of female copulatory orgasm in any case exerts itself on a given seminal pool, and would not be able to discriminate among the content of that pool if composed of various sperm.
As a result, the example I took in XXVII of an orgy is an instance where a woman would be least likely to slant the result of insemination, if male participants inseminate her by turns without interruption, because orgasm upsuck would then apply to a multifarious seminal pool in which the favorite male’s semen is mixed with other males’ sperm. Admittedly, such configuration is relatively rare (even in the context of an orgy, flowbacks may occur between several inseminations, if the participants make breaks; quoth: “Median time to emergence of the flowback after male ejaculation is 30 minutes with a range of 5-120 min” [HSC, 45]) and copulatory orgasms remain useful in the majority of cases of sperm competition, the woman favoring the sperm contained in a homogeneous seminal pool although she may at the moment of orgasm shelter sperm from another insemination in her cervical crypts and/or oviducts (these latter sperm being not impacted by orgasm).
If this is so, it raises a question: What sperm does the penis, in its function of sperm-removal tool, actually remove? Is it only ‘flowback sperm’, so-called, forming a seminal pool in the upper vagina and due to be ejected very soon? Quoth: “Backward and forward thrusting of the penis during copulation, combined with the shape of the penis in a distended vagina should successfully remove a major part of any soft copulatory plug or liquid seminal pool.” (HSC, 171). It thus seems that the answer to the question is yes. However, “The greater the suction, the greater the chance of removing cervical mucus with perhaps older sperm from the cervix itself.” (HSC, 170, box 6.13). I stressed the word ‘perhaps’ because it makes a big difference whether the penis can remove sperm already stored in the cervix or not; for if it cannot, it then applies to present seminal pools merely, that is, in the context present-day customs, it never serves most of times. In the absence of a seminal pool, if we keep assuming that the penis can’t remove sperm stored in the cervix, it can still remove sperm, but it is flushed-out sperm mixed with leucocytes that invalidate them and cells and debris from the female (HSC, 40, box 3.5), that is, sperm unlikely to perform fecundation anyway – sperm that is being removed by the female tract itself (after flowback), without the help of a ‘piston penis’.
As we saw from quote HSC, 45, in general flowbacks occur fairly quickly after intercourse. The probability that another intercourse occurs before flowback should in normal circumstances be deemed small as a consequence, and if ‘flowback sperm’ merely is exposed to the action of the piston penis, it makes the latter’s usefulness rather low. This way open to men to slant sperm competition seems fairly inadequate, whereas the corresponding way open to women, their copulatory orgasms, is effective in most cases and can be foiled by very specific contrivances only (above mentioned), which anyway imply a degree of sperm competition.
The picture I have just outlined, based on my understanding of the facts, is that of a radical asymmetry between women and men in regard of their respective physiological endowments for slanting sperm competition. HSC has provided me with a confirmation that female copulatory orgasm can discriminate among different sperm, in the limits above presented, and with the insight that the limits of the piston penis’ usefulness are important. Of course, we should not disregard the fact that Baker & Bellis consider that the penis can ‘perhaps’ remove sperm from the cervix as well, but they give no clue as to how that would happen.
My objection, under this head, was that the passive gender in an act of oral sex (men in the case of fellatio, women in that of cunnilingus) should have evolved a dislike for the practice, and that, not only have they not, but according to a study by Eysenck et al. it is the active gender that generally expresses a dislike (men say they dislike cunnilingus, women say they dislike fellatio). As Baker, in his trilogy, presents oral sex as a way to collect information (on health and faithfulness), I could have replied to my own objection myself: since it is about exchange of information, if one partner is eager to get information the other may as well be willing to provide it. Which is what Baker & Bellis say: “The main feature of overt orgasms is that the climaxing individual is giving their partner information. … If the transference of this range of information is sufficiently advantageous to both male and female, it could be enough evolutionarily to maintain the observed behaviour. The main topic of theoretical interest then becomes the optimum ratio of cryptic to overt orgasms for male and female performers and observers.” (HSC, 115).
For the man, giving information is a straightforward transparency operation, but Baker & Bellis hint at another set of motivations for the woman: “As far as the climaxing female is concerned, the interplay of cryptic and overt orgasms is a major part of her strategy to confuse the male over levels of sperm retention. Allowing the male to observe a non-copulatory orgasm could be an important element in this strategy.” (HSC, 115).
As to Eysenck et al.’s study, the fact that primates and other mammals practice oral sex (HSC, 101) may cast some doubt on the validity of its results. Otherwise, it could be that the dislike is true generally and that oral sex is performed because of its strategic importance albeit not accompanied by pleasure, but such a view would run contrary to the notion that evolutionary useful acts are predicted to be pleasurable to their performers.
Under the present head, I expressed some doubt on the likelihood of an energetic trade-off model, based on the testes’ huge sperm productivity. It turns out the trade-off considered by Baker is not necessarily that which I thought of: “Such restraint over the number of sperm ejaculated when the risk of sperm competition is low implies that males suffer some disadvantage if they ejaculate too many sperm on any given occasion. Two main disadvantages have been suggested: (1) that the sperm and other constituents in an ejaculate are costly to produce (Dewsbury, 1982); and (2) that, in the absence of sperm competition, the more sperm a male ejaculates, the lower his chances of fertilizing the egg(s) of the current female (Baker & Bellis, 1993).” (HSC, 24). So, the idea of an energetic trade-off is credited to Dewsbury, whereas Baker & Bellis, quoting their own research, hint at another phenomenon, namely that too many sperm may act as a chemical weapon against the woman’s eggs.
My objection taking sperm productivity into account (for the figures, see XXVIII) could still hold against Dewsbury’s model, but it is limited to sperm and I have nothing to say about the productivity of ‘other constituents’ of an ejaculate, i.e. the seminal fluid, which may be much more costly to produce and spend than sperm themselves.
Baker & Bellis do not formally reject Dewsbury’s model and in at least one occasion they seem, on the contrary, to rely on it: “The disadvantage of small testes should be that their possessors produce fewer sperm per day and thus, all else being equal, must either: (1) ejaculate less often and, on average, inseminate older sperm; or (2) ejaculate as often and, on average, inseminate fewer sperm.” (HSC, 111). Such calculations are based on a cost analysis of sperm production and seem to imply the validity of Dewsbury’s energetic trade-off as regard sperm themselves.
Furthermore, the idea that sperm competition itself has being selecting big testes for their capacity to produce more sperm and thus give their owner an advantage in sperm competition, fits the energetic model. There is, seemingly, no way to escape the model, no matter how the figures of sperm production make the very idea of a trade-off along energetic lines puzzling.
Accordingly, Baker & Bellis’s careful conclusion is not surprising: “At present, we cannot determine the relative importance of this factor [optimizing sperm numbers according to levels of sperm competition] and any constraint on sperm numbers due to the cost of producing ejaculates (Dewsbury, 1982). Inevitably, ejaculate cost must have been a factor in the evolution of species-specific rates of sperm production. It is possible, however, that at least for mammals ejaculate cost could be less important than the factors discussed here in influencing restraint over the number of sperm inseminated on any given occasion.” (HSC, 227).
Conception Via Sperm Warfare: The Figures
Baker has replied to my remarks under this head by quoting extensively the relevant passage from HSC (see his reply in comment on XXVIII). To put in a nutshell, I had lost sight of one important possibility, which Baker & Bellis put thus forth: “a female may be paired to one male, conceive by another (via infidelity, and perhaps sperm competition)” (HSC, 200, box 8.4). When writing that part of my essay, I fancied that no woman would conceive via infidelity without sperm competition, because I overlooked the possibility of breakdowns in routine sex. Given that “On average, human pairs engage in IPC [intrapair copulation] at median intervals of about every three days” (HSC, 206), and that Baker & Bellis retain a life expectancy of sperm inside the female tract of 5 days (they present this figure as a conservative estimate), in the normal course of events no female infidelity goes without sperm competition. But one must not rule out the possibility that some men may be crazy enough to neglect routine sex with their long-term partner, or that ‘accidents’ can occur, and that a woman might cheat her partner when he has been lying on a hospital bed for weeks. Because of that blunder of mine, the discussion of the figures in XXVIII is meaningless.
With this head, the discussion of the strictly biological aspects of Baker’s writings is through. I have acknowledged my mistakes as far as I could detect them, and I now proceed to some social considerations, where I find my opinions are more solid.
HSC does not deal with pornography as such. However, some passages confirm my point of view as to how the phenomenon should be construed. As previously stressed, Baker has evolved from the idea that Western societies are becoming increasingly puritanical to the more optimistic view that the current ‘generation porn’ represent an emancipated and enlightened brand of humanity. My own view is that neither picture is correct, but rather that there is a risk that we become increasingly incapacitated sexually. Puritanism has sometimes been construed as a way to cope with sexual inadequacies, but as an ideal of strict monogamy, it cannot, except in marginal cases, be interpreted as such, and Puritans of the past are known among other things for their philoprogenitiveness.
From the evidence of SF 279-80, I have stressed that prostitution in the West has been declining. (Although he provides the figures on which I rely, Baker himself does not construe them in this way; he just offers them as evidence of prostitution in the USA and UK.) In the past, particularly when brothels were legal and widespread, many a young man would have his first sexual experience with a prostitute (of which scores of novels attest, as well as sociohistoric literature). These data make one conclusion pretty tempting, I should think, and HSC buttresses it: “Inexperienced male monkeys and chimpanzees, when encountering a receptive female, become strongly sexually aroused but are often so awkward at attempting intromission that the mating is never completed. Adults who have been denied the opportunity to gain sexual experience when younger are often unable to copulate (Ford and Beach, 1952). A level of experience with other males would be of obvious advantage in increasing the success of an individual’s first mating opportunitites with a female. There may well be some advantage in using other males as targets for practice rather than females. Females, because of the risk of conception, may less often than males be prepared to allow males the opportunity to experiment.” (HSC, 118). Needless to say, Baker & Bellis generalize the findings to humans. In a nutshell, they credit homosexual practice with the same ‘educative’ virtues evidenced by prostitution in the past.
So, if it is true that prostitution has declined (and let the reader be reminded of recent legal developments in some countries such as France, where paying for the services of a prostitute has been criminalized; this criminalizing occurring at a time when prostitution has already sharply declined, law-makers cannot contain the lyrical flows of their eloquence against such a barbarous exploitation of women, failing to see, or rather feigning not to see the far more impressive figures of pornography), if, I say, prostitution has declined, and homosexuality has not increased in due proportion, of which I am not aware (and Baker says it remains stable), certainly one should expect that more men stay virgins for want of experience at the right time.
Do contemporary mores compensate for that? At least two elements should induce us to doubt it. First, feminism has been a strong deterrent to male urgency, as well as the most recent forms of democratism: the vanishing of an utterly dependent servile class has narrowed opportunities for well-off young men to inseminate female servants with the certainty of avoiding unpleasant consequences. Some stories by a Maupassant, for instance, cannot but be met with incredulity nowadays, although they may be more realistic in the context of his time. Second, the mediatic buzz about AIDS, now receding, has certainly played a deterrent role. I have shown elsewhere (here, in French) that the treatment of this sexually transmitted disease by the French media in the nineties was disproportionate. I have shown that, at the apex of the AIDS razzmatazz, an heterosexual individual was 55 times more likely to die in a car accident, and 10 times more likely to die assassinated; and that drugs-addicts were far more likely to contract AIDS via intravenous injection by contaminated syringes (one out of 25 drugs-addicts was then expected to die from AIDS) than gays via sexual intercourse! The buzz must have had a powerful deterrent effect, especially since the only known way to prevent AIDS apart from abstinence, the condom, could never be deemed 100% safe. On this last point, I reminded my reader of the failure rates generally acknowledged, but HSC brings forth even higher figures: “condoms retain a high chance of fertilization. Although, when used properly, the risk of conception with a condom may be as low as three pregnancies per 100 woman years, in normal usage the risk varies from 5 to 30 pregnancies per 100 woman years. This is up to about half the risk experienced by a fertile couple with no protection.” (HSC 178). A risk of conception means a risk of contracting STDs as well. With such a miracle weapon against AIDS – and AIDS, for a long time, has meant certain death at the end of ghastly sufferings – I can’t see many a reasoning mind taking the risk lightly, especially when the horrors of the disease are blasted in your ears daily, year in and year out.
In such a context, what can pornography do for us? I think I know what it can for its producers, but for the viewers it cannot serve the same ‘educative’ purposes as homosexuality (according to Baker) and/or prostitution. At best, it remains theoretical knowledge. At worst, as stressed by sexual ‘educators’ of the past, like Wilhelm Reich, it generates anxiety. Young viewers, especially, might be led to see themselves as inadequately equipped for sex, both physically, with respect to penis size, comparing with the performers’ penises, and psychologically, perceiving that they cannot be callous enough to engage in sexual games.
This is my own interpretation of what Lundberg & Farnham (already quoted in XXVIII) call, with their psychoanalytic lens, an ‘extensive psychological castration of the male.’ It stresses the dismantling of sex-educative institutions for men, and their replacement by a counterproductive substitute.
Incidentally, contrary to common belief, pornography may well be consumed by women. I have already hinted, in my previous essay, at studies cited by Zillmann concerning physiological reactions to erotica. In the current belief, held including by some evolutionary psychologists, such as Gad Saad, holder of a chair on ‘Darwinian consumption’ (sic) at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), pornography appeals to male psychology, while women are interested in romance novels à la Barbara Cartland (The Consuming Instinct, 2011). No doubt men find no appeal in romance novels, but women’s taste for such books is only one side of the coin. They appeal to a woman as seeker of a long-term partner, seeker of the gentleman who will help her raise her children and who therefore must be faithful, caring, protective, considerate, earn a lot of money, and so on. But remember that the gentleman in question is a springboard for the woman as seeker of gene-providing lovers (springboard model). In this latter state of mind, any reason preventing pornography from appealing to her may be illusory.
In conclusion, the situation, I believe, is like the French saying “Ce sont ceux qui le font le moins qui en parlent le plus” (the less they do it, the more they talk about it), but at the collective level. The fact that “sex is everywhere, from Web to television” (Baker, in his 2006 introduction to SW) is not reassuring, really, even from a non-Puritan point of view. To make it clear from an analogy, the current tendency, in Hollywood movies, to depict heroines as women of action coping with obstacles with their muscles, comes handy. An alien from Mars watching such movies would get a very inaccurate picture of our reality. The motives behind such a distorted picture I can only surmise: on the one hand the need to keep making popular action movies for cash, on the other hand the moral imperative to give women a fair share in our symbolic representations…
But I am no prophet of doom and I bring, instead, a message of hope. Hags can take the place of whores! There is already, I am told, a significant trend in pornography depicting female performers far past the age range usually appealing to men in search of mates (see what these evolutionary determined preferences are in XXVIII). Old women, the refuse of sex life, would be attractive enough to inexperienced men (inexperienced past experiencing age) who badly need training to improve their self-confidence – the training men used to have with prostitutes in more relaxed times. If one of these men can get his hands on such a one, and they are easily available for the prurience never dies, he will give her the time of her life, being like a starved beast of prey, and having developed severe, and interesting, deviations – imaginations. Hence, the refuse gets the best.
Optimizing vs Maximizing
On this topic I will be discussing also a source of Baker & Bellis, namely Despotism and Differential Reproduction. A Darwinian View of History (1986) by Laura Betzig.
My objection was to Baker’s prediction that world population will stabilize in the future (at 11 billion individuals around 2100, a fairly precise prediction). HSC details his arguments. Quoth: “There is a close relationship (a) between family size and life expectancy (P = 0.008, controlled for the geographical areas illustrated) which is not significantly different from the relationship (b) between family size and use of moder contraception (P = 0.004).” (HSC 182, box 7.4). Baker & Bellis here discard modern family planning as having played a motor role in the demographic transition. According to them, contraceptive methods “enhance psychological predispositions and strategies evolved much earlier in mammalian history” (HSC 183), and life expectancy is the key factor. As this factor increases in developing countries, birth rates will diminish, as they have diminished in Western countries with the increase of life expectancy, to stabilize at the number of children that optimizes reproductive success – a number that according to Baker fixes at replacement level, i.e. two children per woman.
This model relies on differential observations about developed and developing countries, rich and poor, and the same observations seem to hold for individuals inside countries: “A first attempt to model the situation was made by Rogers (1990). The conclusions were that at the lower wealth ranges of a population, long-term fitness is maximized by using the currently available wealth to maximize family size. The more wealthy ranges, however, gain relatively little from increasing family size and thus may benefit, in long-term reproductive success, from limiting family size so that those few offspring raised are reproductively more successful. As Rogers recognizes, the conclusions are sensitive to a number of assumptions. At the very least, however, the model shows that the reduction in family size during the demographic transition could well have been a response that actually increased individual reproductive success.” (HSC 183).
Interestingly, these views seem to buttress my own linguistic argument on the etymology of the word ‘proletarian’, an argument I used against Baker’s prediction. My construction of this word derived from Latin proles, i.e. offspring, as meaning those who make many children, is not partaken as such by linguists or Latinists. Generally speaking, the word is construed as meaning those who possess nothing but children, or in the classic Latin-French dictionary by Gaffiot, “qui ne compte dans l’État que par ses enfants” (whose worth in the state depends entirely on his children); but both constructions imply some maximizing reproductive behavior, because if one’s wealth, or worth, equals one’s number of children, then one will maximize one’s number of children, for in the case of wealth or worth a distinction between optimizing and maximizing is irrelevant.
So, both Rogers and I agree that lower classes make more children. However, Darwinian theory, as Betzig explains, predicts that the more wealthy and powerful one is, the more women he will inseminate: “As a rule, the evidence is overwhelming that rich and powerful men do enjoy the greatest degree of polygyny cross culturally” (Betzig, 1986, p. 34), and she quotes Darwin: “Polygamy … is almost universally followed by the leading men in every tribe.” Baker & Bellis, quoting another book by Betzig, write the same, adding some historical restrictions: “the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry (c. 15 000 years ago) seemed to herald a universal swing in the human population towards polygyny and extreme reproductive inequality between males (Betzig, 1988). … The critical factor in this swing seemed to be the clumping of resources associated with agriculture and husbandry and the inevitable increase in differences between males in the resources they could accumulate, defend and offer.” (HSC, 140).
Both sets of data seem hard to reconcile. Why didn’t polygynous men of the past optimize their reproduction and why, instead, did they make more children than proletarians? Had they not a higher life expectancy than the subjected populations? If I had read Betzig before, to be sure, I wouldn’t have written that proletarians have been making more children ‘from the remotest antiquity’ on (XXVIII) without further consideration.
Betzig circumscribes yet another time limit in the validity of her ‘Darwinian view of history’: “A decline in both despotism and differential reproduction seems to coincide with industrialization.” (Betzig, 1986, 97). She hypothesizes that, in a context of technical specialization, a decrease in differential reproduction is a necessary concession from the ruling classes to the useful specialists (p. 104). In the same way that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, some intellectuals warned that Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest mechanisms did not function any longer and there were no more natural checks to the proliferation of defects in industrial societies, which were therefore doomed to see the burden of defective individuals increase, we here have another cesura in our Darwinian view of history across the industrialization line, with differential reproduction reversing from the haves to the have-nots. (Or is it the same idea?)
First of all, the data presented by Betzig might not impair my position as to the behavioral characteristics of proletarians in the remote past as much as one may think, because rich men’s polygyny increases also poor women’s, their servants and others’s philoprogenitiveness, whereas rich women’s reproduction may remain suboptimal.
(As a parenthesis, I would like to expatiate on this point by dismissing a possible objection to my statement in XXVIII that a rich man who cuckolds a poor man contributes to widening the gap between the actual and optimum number of children in that poor family. The objection would be that the poor women having routine sex with their poor partners anyway, children will be born even without a rich man cuckolding the poor man. This is not quite so simple, because a woman is more likely to become pregnant in the course of extra-pair copulation [EPC] than of IPC: “The more fertile the female (i.e. in terms of stage of menstrual cycle and type of contraceptive), the higher the proportion of copulations that are double matings.” [HSC, 198] & “Women are significantly more likely to use contraception during IPCs than during EPCs, particularly double matings.” [ibid.] & “There is a clear increase in the incidence of EPCs, including double-matings, when the risk of conception is greater.” [HSC, 197, box 8-3]. Statistically, my remark must hold true.)
Second, one should perhaps distinguish, even before industrialization, between sex warlords and bourgeoisie. Sex warlords, due to their military way of life, might have had a life expectancy that was hardly higher than their subjects’s. As a result, they too maximized their offspring. Bourgeoisie, on the other hand, is the shrewd and prudent class; they optimize. Baker & Bellis talk about those suboptimal men in sperm competition who are most willing to take a wife as a long-term partner and as a consequence must specialize in parenting skills. What are these parenting skills if not the self-same skills that enable men to provide for the needs of a family in the long run? This is bourgeoisie, biologically speaking.
Finally, even before industrialization, there must have existed in the very social structure checks to extreme reproductive inequalities. Especially in despotic societies, the social pyramid (▲) is the inverted picture of the alleged reproductive pyramid (▼). In the Ottoman Empire, at the passing away of the sultan, one of his numerous children was placed on the throne at the end of shadowy court intrigues (in which women would play a great part) and all his siblings exterminated, so his reproductive success must be regarded as not so very great after all. In Western feudal aristocracies, among which property was indivisible, only the first-born male inherited the land and title. The second-born was destined to become a sterile cleric in the Church, the other ones making a career in the military or disappearing altogether from the scene, in the commonalty. Property being indivisible, feudal interests are disconnected from the number of children; besides the biological urge, there is no social incentive to make many children. Conversely, among classes or under regimes in which conveyances are divided, the interest of the family is clearly to reduce the number of children; dynastic (family) success is impaired by transmission to many siblings.
These several considerations tend to promote the idea that data from primitive tribal societies as regards reproductive inequality ought to be taken with a pinch of salt when discussing other types of societies, civilizations namely, however remote.
I shall now proceed to a few other considerations that the reading of HSC has newly triggered.
Under the head “Ejaculates” in my previous essay, I described a theoretical model of female mate-guarding I had designed based on a number of assumptions, particularly concerning male ejaculation. The idea was that the volumes ejaculated by a man depend only on time elapsed between ejaculations, and that this allows the woman, in a context of routine sex, to detect, through interoceptive evaluation of the volume ejaculated, unfaithfulness (or cryptic ejaculations outside her). I have found in HSC that such an assumption (volumes depending on time) has been made by biologists too. Baker & Bellis call it the ‘physiological constraint model’: “This model assumes that, at each IPC, males inseminate all of the stored sperm mature enough to be ejaculated. On this model, number of sperm inseminated at each IPC will be a function of time since last ejaculation and the rates at which sperm mature (minus those which are shed or destroyed.” (HSC, 208). They dismiss it, based on laboratory evidence, and propose instead their own ‘topping-up model’, of which I have already talked.
However, another consideration could save my own model, because I have discarded it offhand on a certain misunderstanding and confusion. What the topping-up model is dealing with is the number of sperm ejaculated, not the volume of seminal fluid, and in my own story the important factor is the volume of seminal fluid inseminated in the genital tract, because it is that volume that would be sensed, and evaluated or measured, by an hypothetic interoceptive sense of the woman (not so hypothetic, perhaps, because we will all agree that the genital tract is sensitive; the question is whether its sensitivity would allow the woman to perform the evaluation I surmise).
HSC confirms that the volumes of seminal fluid and the volumes of sperm are two different stories: “In principle, a female could also gain from stimulating her partner to ejaculate without copulation in order to observe the amount of seminal fluid ejaculated by the male. This could give some information on how long it is since last ejaculated. However, as seminal fluids recover relatively quickly (Mann and Lutwak-Mann, 1981), the female could probably only tell whether the male had ejaculated in the previous 12 hours or so. Within the context of her partner’s infidelity, however, this could still be useful information.” (HSC, 115) Baker & Bellis come to the same idea of female mate-guarding through information got from the amount of seminal fluid ejaculated, but they apparently do not think such estimates possible inside the female genital tract: the information has to be gathered from ‘ejaculates without copulation’, be it through masturbation or fellatio. This being said, they explain how such information from seminal fluid works, and what kind of assumptions it allows.
Perhaps the data could be further refined, and correspondences established between volumes of ejaculated seminal fluid and sperm, to see if any correlations exist (if such studies exist, I pray the reader to forgive me for being a layman.) Let us assume for a moment a strong correlation between the amounts of both elements, seminal fluid and sperm, during ejaculation (although we’ve just seen the story is different for each). That would allow my model to stand on its feet, beside the topping-up model, with only one further restriction. If the volumes ejaculated depend on (1) time elapsed since last ejaculation and (2) time spent together by the partners (topping-up model), the woman could still detect the man’s infidelity via estimates of the volumes he ejaculates in her tract, thanks to an hypothetic interoceptive sense, if the partners have regular routine sex and if at the same time they have adopted a regular, routinized way of life by which they spend the same amount of time together from one week to the other. Such conditions being fulfilled, any variation of the volumes would warn the woman that something is afoot. A process of extreme routinization in every aspect of life is implied in successful mate-guarding.
Under the head “Male Masturbation,” I expatiated on some views I had published elsewhere, the gist of which was that the young man refraining from the practice would be sending signals to women that he is sexually ‘on’. “So what?” a biologist might reply, “Don’t you know that males are urgent and females coy (HSC, 13, box 2.7)? Even if the woman gets signals, being coy she can’t make nothing of it. A male sending signals, that makes no sense; the man just takes action.” It is true that such views of mine at first sight do not quite fit the urgent-coy dichotomy, nor the more popular one of active-passive. To my mind, the male is opportunist: not so much active as ‘activated’. Truly active men are sexual predators and rapists; the bulk of us is not in search of preys but of opportunities. In the absence of certain signals, the man remains passive. I contend he can force the woman to send signals to him, by pleasing her. The idea of opportunism is of course implied in male urgency, but it qualifies it. Unqualified urgency is predation.
Another way to get at the idea of opportunism is, indirectly, through the notion of coquettishness and of a coquette. The word has fallen into desuetude, but Henry James’s stories and novels, for instance, give us a clue as to its importance in not so remote a past. A coquette was not a fallen woman yet, but she could not be regarded as a lady any more. In a nutshell, the coquette would send deceptive signals to opportunist men, she would ‘activate’ them for the mere fun of it, and that was a disgrace.
A man who gets signalled at by women everywhere he goes is what I shall call, for the sake of simplicity, an alpha male. Beta or zeta males often enough admit they suffer from woman’s choosiness (a consequence of her coyness), but they know what an alpha male is; when they spot one, they do their best to become one of his close acquaintances. It’s the best way they can find to get access to women, because an alpha male is bound to create much disappointment among the feminine crowds that signal at him madly (there is just not enough time in a man’s life to enable him to lavish his assiduities in all directions whence the signals come), and, either by despair or resentment, many broken hearts will let the zeta boys bring them a much-needed solace. It’s the well-known story of Elvis’s hairdresser and that of the inconspicuous bassist of the Rolling Stones. (I hope these examples will not appear too trivial. I know many a savant book on the market proffers abundant trivialities, but I have always thought they come from the editors of the publishing house’s staffs, rather than from the authors themselves.)
But let us return to our favorite subject, on which Baker & Bellis provide us with new insights.
Quoth: “when the lineage leading to the genus Homo began to evolve large brains and hence large vaginas, selection was imposed, via sperm competition, on males with larger penises.” (HSC, 174). Here I perceive some circularity in the reasoning. Baker & Bellis say that large penises are better able to remove alien sperm from large vaginas. As we have seen under the head “Female Orgasm” at the beginning of this essay, a large penis is a significant advantage only in the context of rampant promiscuity, for we have expressed some doubt on the possibility that the penis be able to remove sperm stored in the cervix (although Baker & Bellis say it ‘perhaps’ can). If it cannot remove cervical sperm, its action is limited to flowback sperm, so-called, that is sperm forming a seminal pool in the upper vagina, after insemination and before flowback. Which means, its utility is limited to cases of intercourse occurring shortly after another intercourse has taken place with the same female. Thus, a significant selective pressure towards large penises could not exist outside rampant promiscuity (perhaps circumscribed to limited mating seasons). But rampant promiscuity, like among chimpanzees, goes with large penises. Chimpanzees have the highest penis size to body size ratio among the principal primate species; are their brains particularly large ? 275-500 cm3, compared with small-penis gorillas: 340-752 cm3, prlease find the brain size to body ratio for both, and tell me which species has the greatest. If chimpanzees do not have large brains, large brains are not causative in any sense among them.
Another insight I would like to discuss under the present head: “If penis size is an important factor in sperm competition, it would be surprising if males and females did not have some reaction to penis size. First, males should perceive males with a penis larger than themselves as more of a threat if they ever show a sexual interest in the same woman. Second, females should prefer to mate with males who will give them male descendants with a penis more efficient at removing a rival’s sperm.” (HSC, 174).
It has been remarked (in German völkisch circles), based on the evidence of Greek statues, that small-penis men have been selected against inside Caucasoid populations. It would not be a waste of time to collect penis measurements on an appropriate sample of Greek statues, treat them with tables of correspondence or a formula converting penis size at rest into size during erection, and then compare the results with the data provided by HSC on contemporary penis sizes: for Caucasoids 14-15 cm on average (HSC, 169, box 6.12, from Rushton & Bogaert, 1987). (Incidentally, I remember that, in high school and college, a persistent rumor was that the average size of an erect penis was 18 cm. The adverse effects of such an evil rumor on the self-confidence of inexperienced young men are easy to imagine. The psychologic warfare waged in the field of sex notions is endless. Another fiendish rumor construed testicular asymmetry, the normal case, as an abnormality that required chirurgical intervention.) No doubt the results of such a study would confirm that small-penis men have been selected against from antiquity to modern days.
One cannot rule out, of course, some artistic convention. Ithyphallic satyrs, for instance, are represented with huge penises. The convention would then reflect the notion of a trade-off: testosteronized hormotypes are beastlike unspiritual beings. One could also contend that, as most of these statues were orders from the upper classes, from priests for temples, from wealthy individuals for private altars and esthetic enjoyment, and from rulers for publicity, they reflect these classes’ hormotypes. That is, Greek upper classes were not particularly testosteronized. Which leads to the incident question as to how testosterone is distributed in society. Given the manner in which I describe the bourgeoisie, above, I am not expecting that upper classes be highly testosteronized as a rule.
Another of my previous contentions I would like to discuss further. I talked about a possible sexual indifference arising with time from restraint, but as I did not expatiate on what I meant, some may find the statement bold and oppose me with the medical evidence that shows that on the contrary sexual restraint provokes perversions and other forms of mental trouble.
I always found baffling the idea that Puritans, who are married men, should be deemed better examples of moral ‘self-conquest’ than Catholic clerics, who, normally, are sexually abstinent. Max Weber, for instance, calls Puritans “virtuosi of asceticism,” as if it were more ascetic to live monogamously with one wife than to abstain from sex altogether. The conclusion I have drawn from the ubiquity of such a judgment, if this judgment be unprejudiced (to be sure, it is absent from such a profound book as The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James), is that it is more difficult not to be a lecher when having sex routinely than to remain consistent and firm in one’s abstinence, and that it must be because over time abstinence creates an indifference to sex – rather than perverted tastes – becoming a habit, maybe not too unpleasant nor too uncomfortable, and thus not so praiseworthy as the resisting temptation of extra-pair intercourse by a married man engaged in routine sex year in and year out. Even more so if abstinence leads to impotence in the long run, because then a eunuch has no merit at all abstaining from sex. It is perhaps more difficult also for the routine-sex man to refrain from consuming alcoholic drinks and other intoxicants, from seeking base entertainments and other things associated with a worldly unascetic life, from anger, envy, resentment, whereas overriding these would be a mere trifle for the no-sex man (qui peut le plus peut le moins) and not so meritorious as a consequence. – Unless the whole affair is a misunderstanding on my part, and in the above statement by Weber is implied, rather, that Puritans have succeeded in their ideal of monogamy whereas the Catholic clergy has failed in his own ideal of sexual abstinence, be it through masturbation, and thus has always been a community of failures and frauds.
From the quotes HSC 197 and 198 above, it must be clear that a woman taking the pill is less likely, all other things being equal, to cuckold her partner, because a woman normally cuckolds her partner during the fertile phases of her cycle. So much so for the sexual adventurism of contemporary women.
In Sex in the Future, published in 1999, Baker lays great hopes on the paternity test technology; his visions of the future are grounded on the basic idea that the technology will become widespread. Fifteen years later, why are paternity tests not a common feature yet? Why have smartphones become in a few years, or even months, a staple of the Western world, and not paternity tests? Why such inertia? The market exists; over the last couple of years, there has been 3.9 million births each year in the US alone, 10 700 births per day.
The answer is that free access is not enough. The state must make tests compulsory for each birth. Otherwise, the technology will never spread, it will remain restricted to litigation as it is today and has always been since it has become available. Why, if the man asks his partner to take a test, she will be disgusted by his suspicion, or terrified at the idea of being exposed, and she will miscarry. No man can ask for a test in free-market conditions. I suppose no man has ever asked for it.
Consequences of a generalization would be far-reaching indeed, notably in one direction untold by Baker. The polygynous is a kind of parasite of the monogynous. The monogynous can (and had rather) live without the polygynous, whereas the polygynous needs the monogynous in order to cuckold him behind his back. No doubt, often enough crop up in the monogynous’ mind fantasies of uprooting. Is he to blame for that? No more than the polygynous for his cuckolding. With paternity tests generalized, the wheat would be separated from the chaff – in this world.
“It is a mathematical inevitability that populations come to be dominated by those heritable characteristics that impart greatest multiplication power to the descendants of the lineage founder.” (HSC, 7, box 2.2). This is the fundamental of ‘behavioral ecology’ and what allows her to speak of reproductive ‘success’ and ‘failure’. To complete it, “Thus, when we come to examine the sexual behaviour of humans or other animals at the present time, we are seeing populations that are dominated numerically by heritable characteristics that imparted the greatest multiplication power on generations of past possessors. This statement has the certainty of all mathematical axioms and as such is immune to any further philosophical or ideological discussion.” (ibid.) I certainly do not wish to discuss a mathematical axiom, but in case it would serve as a call to “multiply and replenish the earth,” that is as a moral rule of conduct, I may have some objections to present on philosophical grounds.
As Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanence of human nature, and not on its growth and development.” (The Soul of Man Under Socialism). At the root of change in living forms, we find mutations, so the future belongs to mutants. If the future belongs to mutants, it doesn’t matter in the least whose offspring it is that mutates. The mutant of the future does not look more like his ancestor than like any sterile individual of our days.
When a mutation procures a sustainable advantage and creates a mutant species, it is not the qualities my descent and I do share that are important to my descent, but those they and I do not share. Were my descent not my descent, but another’s, it would be the same; my mutant descent and I are strangers to each other, in virtue of that very minority rule that is at the ground of inclusive fitness or kin selection: “Any two members of a species, whether they belong to the same family or not, usually share more than 90 per cent of their genes. What, then, are we talking about when we speak of the relatedness between brothers as ½, or between first cousins as 1/8? The answer is that brothers share ½ of their genes over and above the 90 per cent (or whatever it is) that all individuals share in any case.” (Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 30th Anniversary Edition, p. 288). If the genes I share with a few are of more paramount importance to me than the genes I share with many, then the genes I am the only one to possess are the top of the top, and the rest is so much rubbish. Thus could speak the mutant’s body.
By the way, remember what I said about those hopeless low-status women, who would maximize their offspring in any case because they can expect nothing but a miracle. Here the miracle is the mutation. If we aim at giving birth to the founder of the mutant lineage of the future, then we must maximize the number of our children. Away with optimizing!
Technology vs Biology
Biologists occasionally report the attacks they are subjected to, because of their writings, by mystics and philosophers, but they fail to see, seemingly, that their most dangerous enemy is not those metaphysicians and literati, but technology – not because technology would prove biologists wrong, but because it is going to make their knowledge unimportant, at best anecdotal, when intelligence becomes independent of any genetic support.
No doubt biologists can explain technological developments in Darwinian terms, and I would be delighted to read such treatises, but one cannot help smiling when reading phrases such as “if the recent … technological environment stays stable long enough” (HSC, 186), for this ‘long enough’ must indeed be a long time, the authors dealing with evolutionary scales. The phrase is naive, and it was already a little bit naive in 1995. In 1997 the computer Deep Blue beat the world champion at chess; today no human chess master can beat a computer. Exponential trends in the development of computing and other technologies have led some scholars to forecast a ‘singularity’ in the future, although I strongly object to the name because it compares something that has never happened yet under the conditions of our experience, namely an intelligence independent from genetic support, with things that cannot happen under no condition of our experience, namely infinite density in relativistic black holes and infinite heat in the relativistic Big Bang, so-called singularities of physics (see Thoughts III here).
Elsewhere (here, in French) I have stressed that genetic reproduction is a hindrance to knowledge transmission, because every new individual must be taught from scratch, and the loss of time and energy this state of affairs generates is tremendous. This, linked with certain characteristics of mental activity, has convinced me of an autonomous movement of technology towards the making of a new kind of being. Let me add the following. By responding to needs, technology has made the biological mechanisms that respond to those needs an encumbrance. It creates the need to get rid of these biological mechanisms, even though they are connected to the recipient organs of the service. In contemporary urban settings, people are compelled to devote significant portions of their time to futile physical exercizes, such as jogging on treadmills, with the sole aim of preventing their bodies from impairing their activity. Our bodies are not suited any more to the life we’re living.
To illustrate the autonomy of technological development, let’s take leisure. Technological conditions have been fulfilled for decades to put an end to most of human toil, but humanity keeps toiling. “Leisure is a condition for which the human species has been badly prepared, because until very recently it was enjoyed by only a few, who contributed very little to the gene pool.” (B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity).
Only a collapse of the technological civilization could preserve genetic transmission. By reading Baker’s writings, one is primed, in a way, to see any achievement outside reproduction as castles in the air (however transient the priming may be and the final impression always that science must go on). This, in Ibsen’s famous play The Master Builder, is of what Hilde convinces the master builder Solness – he dies before eloping with her, by the way. Technology, however, is no castle in the air if its definition is: the making of a new being. DER GEIST is awakening.
January 3rd, 2016